Positive Impact Golf – The Easiest Golf Swing for Seniors?
Ross Reinhold, guest author
Have you tried Positive Impact Golf? What have been your experiences? What tips do you have for others trying it? Respond in the comments below the article.
Brian Spark’s videos and methods (that he calls Positive Impact Golf and maintains it is the Easiest Swing in Golf for Seniors) were first recommended to me by Scott Starks in 2016. I watched a few but put it aside as I was concentrating on other methods. But in the spring of 2017 I found that over the winter something had changed to affect my iron play. I couldn’t hit my mid-length irons much further than my nine iron. I was also spraying my iron shots left and right.
So I took another look at Brian’s videos. Studied a few of them, did some of his recommended practice exercise sessions – what he calls La Danse du Golf – in my living room. Then I went out to my home golf range with my 5 iron. I took a very relaxed swing and the ball traveled 150 yards straight out, at least 30 yards longer than I had been able to accomplish earlier when my effort to swing the club was much greater. Wow, I think I may have found the Holy Grail!! (article continues after the video)
So I bought Brian’s book, Positive Impact Golf, and studied a few more of his online videos and that of one of his associates, Julian Mellor (some are cited at the end of this article). Brian and Julien’s methods are definitely body-friendly; their golf swing is effortless and uncomplicated. The PIG method is based on a set of 6 principles that are as much mental as physical: turning, weight shifting, rhythm, balance, coordination, and souplesse (supple and relaxed).
Brian also identifies 3 “deadly don’ts”- commonly held golfing ideas which complicate the golf swing: keeping your head still and eye on the ball; keeping your left arm straight; and keeping your left foot firmly planted in the backswing.
Brian’s book probably ought to be sub-titled the Psychology of the Golf Swing. While I found Brian’s book interesting and somewhat helpful on the mental side of my game, I found it too short on details of how to engage his 6 principles in my game. Part of this fits Brian’s Easiest Swing in Golf method in that he feels people over-think their swing. His top ten swing thoughts are no swing thoughts! The book and his videos are also light on swing mechanics details. Brian explains his lack of “how to” details because he believes in customizing his teaching to the student. For example, the particulars of the best grip that Brian or Julien might advocate to one golfer may be different to another.
I also think Brian wants the emphasis on your body, not your mind. He wants your body to learn the 6 principles and naturally avoid the 3 deadly don’ts. Doing daily exercises such as La Danse du Golf and a few others he illustrates in his videos go in that direction. Ironically his book, though, focuses on the mind. Because he believes our minds most often interfere with a balanced, natural, rhythmic, and easy golf swing – basically the mind most often prevents application of his 6 principles. Tension and negative thoughts are the enemy.
Brian’s videos and his book hit home with me. I get what he is trying to do. I also recognize I am a particularly hard case to correct. As a senior golfer, it is difficult to break lifetime habits that in other spheres have been part of my success: analyzing and thinking; attending to details; learning through reading, watching, and listening; expending maximum physical and mental effort, never giving up; concentration and focus; and the list goes on. I am guilty of all the sins he lists as blocking a natural golf swing.
I am finding these lifetime habits very difficult to change. Sometimes I’ll make a relaxed, balanced golf swing that sends the golf ball far and straight and I think “I’ve got it” but then later I lose it. And then I start thinking “what happened” and begin making adjustments and I’m down the primrose path to a bad round. Maybe I am not doing the La Danse du Golf often enough or doing it correctly. Maybe there are habits in my swing I don’t realize. I need coaching but to date no one in the USA is teaching using Brian’s golf coaching methods.
Have you tried Positive Impact Golf? What have been your experiences? What tips do you have for others trying it? Respond in the comments below.
Some links to more videos:
Brian Explains Rationale for La Danse du Golf
6 principles of Positive Impact Golfing – Julien Mellor
Transferring weight in the Golf Swing – Julien Mellor
Slow-Motion Analysis of Brian Sparks Positive Impact Golf Swing
Ross Reinhold, guest author